Friday, May 15, 2009

Call of God (Part 4) - Is God Calling You?

All Christians are called to full time service; that is, we live our faith and serve God everyday of our lives. But there is also a call into the ministry as a life-long vocation.

1. The ministry is fulfilling. The ministry is a wonderful way to spend your life, if God allows you. While few ministers get famous and fewer get wealthy, there are far greater rewards than money and fame. It is almost impossible to find an older minister who does not think his or her life was a life filled with meaning and impact. Ask any older minister if they regret being in the ministry and if their life was well invested. Almost all of them will say, “I would do it again.” It’s true, investing your life in the ministry provides the greatest of all satisfactions. If God calls you to this, you will love the ministry as a vocation.

2. The ministry is hard work, but worth it. Don't get the idea that the ministry is a cushy job without trial or difficulty. It isn't. Ministry today might be one of the toughest fields of work you could consider. As a minister, you will be called to lead a congregation of people who have widely differing opinions and preferences. They will want church to be like a fast food restaurant where they can order exactly what they want and receive it within sixty seconds! And people, being what they are, can sometimes get downright nasty. Often, it's the minister who bears the brunt of their displeasure.

Then there is the competition. There will be dozens of other churches down the street from you who will offer better programs, bigger screens, and more exciting and relevant music. Sometimes people leave one church and move to another. It's hard to not take rejection personally.

Then there is the devil. The minute you accept a call into the ministry, you will have a bulls-eye painted in your chest…. or back. For instance, if you started a business you would face stiff competition from other businesses in town, but the devil is not likely to spend too much energy trying to run you out of the hardware trade. Instead he focuses his diabolical schemes on the church and its ministers - he'll try to drive your church out of business and you out of the ministry.

Nevertheless, the ministry is more fulfilling than it is easy. It's hard work, but it's worth it. Ministers get lots of ministry highs, but even on the days when it doesn't feel particularly good to be a minister, they keep going because they believe ministry is a worthwhile and eternal pursuit. When you cross the minister's finish line, you'll know that it was worth it! If you are called to the ministry, you aren't promised an easy life, but you are promised a life that's worthwhile.

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